FANGO Flashback: “The Bloody Best of FANGORIA”Books/Art/Culture,Columns,Home Ken W. Hanley
FANGORIA has certainly had its fair share of up’s and down’s over the years, but with 35 years and counting, there’s no denying that FANGORIA has earned the right to call itself “the first in fright.” Over those years, FANGORIA has given generations of horror fans the inside scoop on horror films new and old, big and small, gory, creepy, strange and surreal, including exclusive SFX pictures, interviews and more. And today, FANGORIA still stands steadfast among the horror community, giving fright fans in-depth and excellent coverage of all things horror, reviving GOREZONE and finding new, unique ways to spread our wicked wings.
But FANGORIA certainly wouldn’t be in such a position if it was not for years of dedicated work on which we’ve built our legacy upon. And in remembrance of the various writers, contributors, filmmakers and VFX artists who have had their work strewn across our pages for years and years, FANGORIA looks back at one of our finest spin-off series which truly lived up to its name: “The Bloody Best of FANGORIA!”
So, what exactly was “The Bloody Best of FANGORIA?” In the age before the internet really took off, fright fans took pen to paper, sending letters inquiring about their favorite articles, requesting information on rumored productions and voicing criticism at any supposed weak links in the monthly magazine format. In 1982, three years after the magazine made it’s debut, the FANGORIA staff put together the most popular and acclaimed articles, pictures and content for a “greatest hits” issue of sorts and released it as “The Bloody Best of FANGORIA.” It was all-killer with no-filler; fans who wanted the most on the macabre without any specific recurring columns or the trademarks of the monthly magazine, and it quickly became a collectible must-have for horror aficionados.
After the first issue was a massive success, 12 more followed in the same vein, offering reviews, articles and interviews with the biggest names and the biggest projects in horror. Of course, “The Bloody Best” didn’t offer everything FANGORIA had, with many great articles and photos remaining exclusive to the many loyal subscribers. But “The Bloody Best” was an annual compendium of FANGORIA’s strongest and smartest writing of a given year, complete with free posters and exclusive all-new interviews which made “The Bloody Best” stand out among the bloody rest.
Alas, the last “Bloody Best of FANGORIA” came in 1994, with the company shifting focus on the magazine itself and the spin-off GOREZONE as well as expanding into other media leaving the spin-off obsolete. The “Bloody Best” label, however, did eventually make a comeback 17 years later, when FANGORIA Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander compiled the greatest and most gruesome content from GOREZONE for the one-off “The Bloody Best of GOREZONE.” And today, the “Bloody Best” has become one of the most desired collector’s items among the horror crowd, with the elusive original run being the pride and joy of many a horror fan. You can check out FANGORIA’s exclusive gallery of “Bloody Best” covers below, and the next time you’re celebrating the chiller in you, raise your glass to “The Bloody Best of FANGORIA!”